2012 – Term 2



“Warami” is a welcome greeting in the Dharug language. Nice isn’t it?

Our baby is now 12 weeks old and sleeping through the night. She’s looking more like her sister every day. She has started joining in with Circle Time and was full of smiles. So cute, with rosy cheeks. Her mop of black hair now has brown highlights. It won’t be long and she’ll be competing with our 18 month-old boy (whom we have nicknamed Speedy) for space.

Speedy is as speedy as ever, and experimenting with everything. “Speedy” is his first name and “Curious” is his middle name. If he isn’t a scientist, engineer, or a mechanic when he grows up his talents will be wasted. He had a good go at painting our windows today – yes, he climbs too.

Our 18-month-old girl is very sociable and explores in a much more measured fashion. Our nearly four-year-olds are getting very confident. Last playgroup session one of them brought something for “show and tell” at circle time. We’ve never done that before and it was lovely.

We read the story “Wacky Wednesday” by Dr Seuss which is on the shelf of our trust library (families take books home to read and bring them back). This book is a firm favourite at playgroup. One of our 4 year-olds giggled all the way through. The other kids got excited about noticing all of the things that were wacky in the illustrations.

During Circle Time we talked about Autumn and what is happening to the leaves on the trees. It might have been ten degrees (celsius) and grey outside, but it was toasty warm in the Orana Room.

I had a nice time collecting leaves with my children, just walking and talking and collecting leaves for the  Playgroup craft. And so at Playgroup we had a lovely morning with our Autumnal theme. Lots of Autumn leaf collage, and leaf rubbings.

And then the children progressed to doing Autumn paintings at the easels, and discovered that they can mix colours to get other colours.

Quotes of the Day

– from a very confident 4 year-old, who has been coming to Orana Playgroup for about 3 years: “Narelle, I can smell the buns from outside. They smell yum! I lift my nose up to sniff them.”

– from a 3 year-old, who was proudly showing off his leaf collage: “It’s cool, yeah!”

I just love our seasonal song this Circle Time “Did you see the wind today”. One Mum sang another song for us…

Like a leaf or a feather
In the windy, windy weather
We whirl around
And twirl around
And all fall down together

The tune to this song can be found at this link http://play.kindermusik.com/en/tracks/3845-like-a-leaf-or-a-feather/.

We had a discussion about the shortest day of the year.  There are lots of good videos explaining the Winter solstice on YouTube. Kids are interested in that sort of stuff.

I normally expect a small number of people after Mothers Day as it can be a big day for some folks and they take a breather on Monday. But the sun was shining.


Nishika made some lovely gift bags for her Mum for Mothers Day, and she was so proud of them she brought them in to show everyone at playgroup.

The children always rise to the challenge of free-range craft. Paper plates are a favourite as a base for craft. Very few children went outside to play despite the Autumn sunshine, they were too interested in what they were doing at the craft table. Boys, girls, very young children, preschoolers, talking with and being with their parents, helping each other, and taking pride in what they are doing. It doesn’t get any better than this.

A good website for paper plate craft is at http://www.artistshelpingchildren.org/paperplatesartscraftstideaskidsprojects.html.

The early bird caught the worm!

At morning tea we had a discussion about unusual sandwiches. One girl at playgroup has ham, cheese, and vegemite sandwiches for her lunch – altogether that is. There were tales of ham, jam, and cucumber sandwiches, cold potato and sultana sandwiches, and cold potato and vegemite sandwiches. What’s the quirkiest sandwich you’ve ever heard of?

At Circle Time, none of the children or parents had heard of the song Three Little Fishes. They thought it was a figment of my imagination. Well, I didn’t know that the Andrews Sisters sang it, so enjoy…


The children sat so quietly at storytime for the story Mr Pusskins. I don’t think I’ve ever had such a quiet story time.

The children have been having a great time making up moves for the song “one finger one thumb keep moving”. One day we also had to do one ear, two eyes, one nod of the head, and a butterfly flap.

We made Sun Bread for morning tea. It was a little more effort to make the Sun Bread dough but everyone agreed that it was worth it. Yellow fluffy buns that smelt scrumptious and tasted just as good.

The original recipe is at  http://www.elisakleven.com/recipe.html. I had a bit of trouble with the recipe, so I made an Australian version of Sun Bread. The original recipe calls for 3 eggs per 2 cups of flour. As I put 10 cups of flour into the dough for playgroup, that would have been 15 eggs which would have been much too much. I use jumbo sized free-range eggs. The American recipe also said to use 2 packages of active dry yeast per 2 cups of flour, which would have been 10 sachets of yeast and once again too much.

Here are the ingredients for 10 cups of flour…

10 cups plain flour
300g unsalted butter
9 jumbo sized free range eggs
half a cup of milk
5 sachets of dried yeast (7g per sachet)
about half a cup of raw sugar – I never measure it

The yeast didn’t rise as well in the milk. I usually use water. I was really worried about it not getting so foamy, but I needn’t have, it was fine. After kneading it for 10 minutes the dough was soft and buttery, or as the book says “glossy, springy, smooth to hold”.

I won’t be able to make sun bread dough every week for playgroup. The cost of eggs and butter will blow the budget, but it was a nice activity to tie in with the story Sun Bread by Elisa Kleven. The children enjoyed hearing the story again, and they did some sun crafts. Elisa Kleven also wrote the story The Puddle Pail which we had so much fun with last term.

We had slinky apples for morning tea too. Napier is only too happy to use the slinky machine. One of our families has a slinky machine at home and they have a slinky song which they got from the Ace Ventura movie…  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFI2Nzu5zJU.  What would we do without YouTube? It was a jolly time.

We also had a vigorous discussion about footy. What type? In these parts there is only one type – rugby league football. And not everyone goes for the local team either (Panthers).

So, we have come to the end of Term 2.  Have a happy and healthy school holidays. Maybe you could try cooking up some Sun Bread? It will make the sun come out.

Playgroup will return on the 23rd July.

Yanu (goodbye)


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